Borough Assembly District 1; Davis: Assembly should quit hampering Bagley's efforts

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2002

If voters support Proposition 4, which would remove the Kenai Peninsula Borough's sales tax from nonprepared foods, and the Alaska Legislature opts to institute a statewide sales tax, the borough will face a tough decision, borough assembly District 1 candidate John C. Davis said.

"We will have to raise some money some other way," he said. "That's one reason I'm against the proposition on unprepared foods. If we lost that $2 million and the state put in a state sales tax, we would have a big problem with property owners because the borough would have to pick up the tab somewhere, and property is the only place to go."

Davis, 61, has lived on the peninsula for 35 years and made his home inside what is now District 1 for 25 of those years. He owns three businesses, including KSRM Inc., the Soldotna Business Plaza Inc. and an air taxi service called Lake Country Air Inc.

As a successful business owner, Davis said he has little to complain about with regards to the borough in general.

"We have got the best possible place I can imagine to live, work and raise our families," he said.

Davis said as far as he is concerned, the borough has been responsive to the public. He said he is a staunch supporter of borough Mayor Dale Bagley and his efforts to run the borough frugally and bring new business to the peninsula.

"I am happy with the way the present mayor has been doing that," he said. "He has covered all the bases."

Davis said the Community and Economic Development Division has been successful at promoting business, pointing to efforts in the fisheries and oil and gas industries. Davis said he wants to be part of that ongoing effort.

"I'm wanting to work with (Bagley) in any way I can," he said. "With all the problems we've got in oil and gas and in fisheries, we all have to work for economic development."

Davis also said he thinks the assembly has been responsive to the public on some issues, but not on others. He noted the failed effort to launch an animal control law, an idea the public soundly rejected at the polls.

"When the public says 'no,' I think they mean 'no,'" he said.

The assembly's stance on disposal of borough land is one of the reasons he is running, he said. As he sees it, the assembly has bucked Bagley's efforts to put more borough land on the auction block and ultimately in private hands.

"I'm tired of the (Assembly President Tim) Navarre assembly with their 5-4 clique opposing Dale," he said.

On school funding, Davis said as long as the borough Board of Education can justify its annual budgets to the public, he would not oppose appropriating what they ask.

Roads, he said, are now getting the kind of funding they need. He likes the current boroughwide Roads Service Area system, rather than the smaller regional service areas it replaced several years ago.

In that regard, he differs from his District 1 opponent, Ron Johnson, who wants to see the Roads Service Area regionalized once again.

Davis also said he supports Proposition 2, which seeks approval for general obligation bonds for solid waste disposal projects.

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